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Can Starfish Help Us Reimagine Church?
Episode 3225th April 2021 • Everyday Disciple Podcast • Caesar Kalinowski
00:00:00 00:56:40

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The Church was originally a decentralized movement. Before everything became housed in church buildings with hierarchical leadership, the priesthood of all believers was equipped and sent to make disciples.

In this episode of the Everyday Disciple Podcast, Caesar talks with Rob Wegner and Lance Ford about why the distributed structures of 'starfish' organizations uniquely fit the church today. Just like a starfish can reproduce itself fully from only one of its legs, churches with this type of regenerative ability are much more nimble in reacting to external change and outside forces.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The difference between "spider" and "starfish" organizations.
  • How embracing the starfish's reproductive ability changes the way we lead the church.
  • Why equipping is job #1 for pastors and leaders in the church today.
  • How every Believer carries the full DNA of a disciple-making movement.

Get started here…

Starfish Reimagine Church

From this episode:

"Leaders need to do an honest heart evaluation, asking themselves, 'how much equipping of the saints am I really doing for ministry out there–not just church service jobs and activities?' Remember, equipping is different from teaching. Equipping is a relational transaction that is personal and requires time and gives people the freedom to grow as they learn, and learn as they go."

Each week the Big 3 will give you immediate action steps to get you started.
Download today’s BIG 3 right now. Read and think over them again later. You might even want to share them with others…

Thanks for Listening!

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Also, please subscribe and leave an honest review for The Everyday Disciple Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

The Starfish and the Spirit

Free Download of the Big 3 For Episode #322

Coaching with Caesar and Tina in discipleship and missional living.

Free Discipleship and Missional Resources

 

Join us on Facebook

Transcripts

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A spider and a starfish from a distance look very much the same externally.

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Of course, when you get up close, you begin to see structural differences.

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But underneath the surface is where things are dramatically different.

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So if you cut the head off of a spider, it's ripped, the spider's dead, no longer functional, cause all the power, the powers in the head, this represents hierarchical organizations or churches that look like a pyramid with a, typically it might be a lead pastor, the pastor, or an executive pastor or a small team that really has all the power.

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And then the starfish on the other hand, If you cut the arm off of the starfish, you get two starfish cause it's actually a neural net.

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It's actually a a brain network and everything is present in every cell to be able to reproduce the whole so it's infinitely reproducible.

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And of course that's the way of Jesus.

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When he says go make disciples.

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Every disciple is designed to be a disciple who can make disciples

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Welcome to the everyday disciple podcast, where you'll learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of life.

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In other words, Discipleship as a lifestyle.

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This is the stuff your parents, pastors, and seminary professors probably forgot to tell you.

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And now here's your host, Caesar Kalinowski.

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Okay, here we go.

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Off to the races again.

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Hope you're having a great day, great week so far say that often, but I really do mean it.

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I hope that's the case for you.

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Boy is it beautiful here today.

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And my backyard is like a bird sanctuary.

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We have so many birds and I guess we've probably made that happen in a sense that we've got hummingbird, feeders hanging and we've got little suit, block things hanging, but it is like woodpecker zone and we've got different kinds of hummingbirds.

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It is amazing.

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I love it.

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And of course, more, more this time of year in spring, but we get them all year here in the Pacific Northwest.

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We get hummingbirds all year and we get those giant Woody woodpeckers all year.

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The ones with the big.

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Punk rock shock of red hair coming off the top.

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And they're giant birds.

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Like I've only seen pictures up until I moved out here, but anyway, so we're having a blast so love and the fact that spring has sprung and any who listen, I want to invite you to join me on the Facebook group.

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If you've not done that yet, we need your voice over there.

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This is our place.

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We can talk about the episodes.

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You can ask questions or even dive into anything.

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Missional or discipleship related.

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It doesn't have to be from the episode, but that's what we want to talk about is discipleship there in everyday life, you can check that out by either looking us up everyday disciple podcast on Facebook or you can go to everydaydisciple.com/ facebook.

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The other thing I wanted to point out to you is did you know, you can now listen to the podcast and I think every podcast on Spotify, yeah, it is the best.

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You probably already know that it is the best.

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I love it.

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I use Spotify for.

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I think pretty much all my music needs.

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So does our family.

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And when they added the podcasts, I was like, Oh, I love it.

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And now there's, the graphics are in there and the trailers and it's there.

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They're really improving it and it's going great.

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So if you're also a Spotify user, that might be a cool place to listen and start to run into the podcast there.

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All right.

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My guests today are Rob Wegner and Lance Ford.

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And you may remember Rob from a few episodes back.

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I dunno, maybe 10 episodes back or so we talked about emerging trends in the church and there was two episodes, #306 and # 307 and it was really popular and it was really cool.

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And Rob, just as a reminder is a member of a disciples made.

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Executive team on it's an organization called disciples made awesome.

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And he's also a founding leader of the Kansas city underground, which is a decentralized network of reproducing disciples leaders and micro churches.

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And they super equip everybody.

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And it's awesome.

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They're in their town and they're doing a great work in Kansas city.

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Now my second guest, Lance Ford, Lance is an author and a consultant and a coach, and he's written a ton of books.

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You've probably read some of his books and they together, Robin Lance.

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Co-wrote a book with Alan Hirsch called the starfish and the spirit.

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And these guys are all really good.

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Long-term friends of mine, who I have the utmost respect for in this new book, the starfish and the spirit.

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What they've done is they've taken the metaphor from the best-selling book, the starfish and the spider.

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Maybe you read about that.

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We're gonna actually talk about that in the episode and and talk about why the distributed structures of starfish.

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Types of organizations.

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And you'll know more about that when you listen, are uniquely fit to the church today, maybe always, really.

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That's what I think and how churches can function without a rigid central authority.

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And it's so much the stuff we're going to talk about today is so much of what the church needs.

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I really believe it with all my heart.

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You're going to love these guys and this super engaging talk I had with them.

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This is really awesome stuff.

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Okay.

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So let's jump into that now.

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All right.

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So I am so excited to have you guys, both long-term buddies and conference friends and guys.

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That's how I think we probably all originally got to know each other was by being at a million conferences.

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And hanging out and all that water conferences.

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Yeah, exactly.

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Conference.

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Remember when people used to all pay super tons of money, it wasn't really their own money.

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It was their churches money.

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And they'd go to these other church buildings to hang out.

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. They went they left their house.

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They went to places.

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They would get in a covered wagon and they would drive the horses for days, and by the time they got there, half the party was dead.

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They had just dropped out from small things.

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I went to some of those conferences, we went to, those brings around, Hey, you guys have been busy toiling away on this this new book, this, and I'm so excited about it because I gotta be honest with you upfront.

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I'm excited about the book because I so loved.

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The starfish and the spider.

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And I'm guessing the reason you guys have done this, and I know I've talked to you about this for years, actually, you've been cultivating this project, but I don't think there was a church person or leader in the church when that book came out to starfish in the spider, that didn't immediately go see, especially for all of us who were in your community and trying to yeah.

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Say, Hey, we're not anti Sunday, but listen, we've got to decentralize and be the church and get the body out there and be nimble and all that.

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So I don't think anybody that was missed just by anybody, but I feared that it was not necessarily implemented by Manny.

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And so now with this book I'm just excited because that same is great.

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And now how I got to ask the original author Ori, is it Ori or you Bronfman?

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How much did he participate in this book and way to go, to get permission, to set a gang, his meta idea and take it somewhere else.

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That's awesome.

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Tell me a little about that.

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He actually was very involved in it.

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I got to know Ori.

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Gosh, it's been about 14, 15 years ago, actually, Alan Hirsch.

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And I met Ori at a Neil Cole conference, a conference that Neil was putting on in long beach, I think in 2006 or 2007.

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And In fact, he had already come there and four, or he's a sweetest guy.

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And I don't know if I've ever even told you this Rob so it's a nail cold conferences in long beach, California.

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We've had Neil call on the show.

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Maybe it's some folks will remember.

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We talked about prayer in everyday rhythms and stuff.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Neil's very laid back very CA and you can imagine the greenhouse conferences, what do you call it back in the day?

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And you know how everybody's dressed or he shows up.

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In a three-piece suit.

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And I felt so sorry for him because it was like somebody didn't tell memo this guy, but anyway that's where I got to know Henri I've really stayed connected with him.

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We even had him at the centralized conferences speak.

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It was you were a part of Caesar.

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And just stayed with him and stayed in connection.

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And so this book, this idea of this book, which I bet you there's dozens of other guys that have thought about writing this book was just in me for a long time.

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And so probably six years ago, I started talking to worry about it and He just really helped us co coach us through it.

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It wasn't long till after that, until I invited Rob to come into it.

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I just felt like the things that Rob would bring to it.

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And if I've ever heard from the Lord on anything I heard from the Lord on that, Rob was supposed to be a part of it.

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And yeah, you had one other guy who was this guy.

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I struggled with some of his writings and everything.

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We invited him just to boost some guy named Alan Hirsch.

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He's a guy straight out and we felt like we could probably.

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Take him on his pupils and mentoring two of the smartest guys in the planet and relate with them wrangle that.

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Could I tell little story?

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It seems like a dream because I was on a plane in 2006 and apart of a disciple making movement in India.

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And I'd spent two or three months a year there.

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So it wasn't like dropping in for a little visit, like deeply involved.

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And it was totally deconstructing my view of church and discipleship, like walking around the book of acts and in 2006 on the same plane ride, I read the forgotten ways.

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And the spider and the starfish, and it was like spending 18 hours straight with Jesus and just go, Oh, and I got off that plane and I went with those Apple stock leaders and we immediately started working through the MTNA.

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And the star fish.

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So to be at this place either way, what I'm going to talk to you about today this week is brand new theology.

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It's new polity, it's all about new.

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none of this.

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I barely done.

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That's awesome stuff, man.

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Give me the general give all of us here.

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And so for those listening, if they, maybe they read starfish and the spider, but maybe a lot of people are gonna go.

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I never read that.

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Give us the general principle of why those two things are quite brilliant.

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I think.

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Yeah, sure.

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It's a brilliant metaphor.

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So a spider and a starfish from a distance look very much the same externally.

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Of course, when you get up close, you begin to see structural differences, but underneath the surface is where things are dramatically different.

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So if you cut the head off of a spider it's rip the spider's dead, no longer functional cause all the power, the locus of powers in the head, this represents hierarchical organizations or churches.

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That looked like a pyramid with a, typically it might be a lead pastor or an executive pastor or a small team that really has all the power.

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And then the starfish on the other hand, if you cut the arm off of a starfish, you get to starfish because it's actually a neural net.

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It's actually like a brain network and everything is present in every cell to be able to reproduce the whole so it's infinitely reproducible.

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And of course that's.

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The way of Jesus.

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When he says go make disciples.

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Every disciple is designed to be a disciple who can make disciples and inside of each Fowler of Jesus is the potential for a movement.

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And it's like the sea.

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Has the potential for forest.

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And obviously this is particularly important today when we look at the centralized, even if it's not okay, we've got a plurality of leaders or whatever, so we don't call it.

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We don't qualify for that metaphor.

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It's no, because if your Sunday experience is the head of the spider, in a sense where everything has to come out of that, and if that goes away, we really start to die off.

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Obviously we find ourselves in a situation very similar to that.

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Many do and some are hanging on by their teeth so great time to revisit this.

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I remember when the original book on the in the spider, not in the spirit came out, it was we were all comparing it to, and maybe the book itself did to like Al-Qaeda networks and all the terrorist networks, because you couldn't, there was no place.

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You could just bomb boop.

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And it was over, you couldn't take out a single leader cause they had.

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10 more that were just the copies of that per like they were so good at reproducing their DNA, their ethos, their doctrine, their theology, whatever you want to call it.

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And it's still to this day, right?

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We're not, we haven't successfully really stopped any of those organizations.

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They seem to disappear for a while and all they're doing is growing more legs.

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So exactly anything you'd add to that lands.

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It, the metaphor just breeze so much life force, especially now in, we're not in quite post COVID right now.

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We're post COVID, we're getting out of it or whatever, but if there was ever a time that the church.

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Is in what we've called a liminal space, aluminum situation where it must adapt or die it's now.

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And even without, I, I think that we would all agree here that even without, COVID just in the culture that we're in right now, what I think regiment Neil would call, would say that we are in a pre-Christian.

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Culture or we need to act like we are.

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So we're definitely, we've been set.

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We known for a long time.

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We've been in post Kristin them, but we're almost circling back around to, we've got to act like we're in a pre-Christian culture, so it's, we have to decentralize anyway.

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So I think that a lot of the shakeup and societal and cultural COVID all that.

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I don't think it's a bad thing for us as the church.

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I think it is forcing us and pushing us to be who the Lord designed us to be in the first place.

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And man, I feel like 2020 for myself and the folks in our team and all and my wife, Tina and I, as we talk and do ministry together, we felt like in many ways, 2020 from a church standpoint and a refocus of mission and discipleship and all, it was like an answer to a 15, 20 year prayer.

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I and that of course is not because we desire anybody to lose their job or die, or like organizations to just be torn down for the heck of it or or any of that.

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But it was just like, Lord, what's the we've all talked about it.

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What's it gonna take for the church to wake up and be the church again, get decentralized into everyday life, all of life.

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Really believe in the priesthood of believers in the equipping and the valuing of all the gifts.

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And then how do we nurture all that?

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We've been praying for that and live in that and multiply in that.

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But still you think about it, you guys have been doing this just as long as we have people used to look at us, completely.

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Everybody looked at us like we were like, we had it's you don't eat, you don't even have to have the deconstruction conversations anymore.

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Yeah.

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I Just think about all the deconstructive conversation we had to have about missional versus attracts.

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No, you don't even have to have that anymore.

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And I think it's a lot that way now with, even with the de-centralized that's true.

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Issue is like most leaders now are saying, Hey, I know that it's true.

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Now show me how to do it.

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How do we do it?

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Because we've only known one form of leadership.

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So in the book you talk about re-imagining church, it's actually one of the big sections in there and there's actually a book out called reimagine church and there's re-imagining church anyway, but that's a beautiful word because I like where it takes us.

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It's not only tactical, but it's also Hey, Can we get to imagine how something gets to be?

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I've told this story many times that years of traveling overseas in like war zones in like Sudan and Burma and all this stuff and being with the church and you're just like, wow, they are the church.

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They don't have buildings, they don't have money.

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They don't have no gear, but they are like in love with Jesus and they care for one another.

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And they're growing in faith and closeness and understanding of the word all orally, by the way, and and you just go, man, that caused me to re-imagine what, how I get to live and raise my kids and be, and I so want that for us now, not just Willy nilly, as I think praise God, we still have our rudder, we have our North star of scripture and that story, but.

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We've drifted so far.

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Y who needs to do some re-imagining?

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What types of churches and leaders do you think, and then why is there a need to start to re-imagine church?

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Obviously, some of it's because of what we just experienced, but you've already hinted Atlanta.

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It's not just COVID right.

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Who needs this?

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Do you think who needs to start re-imagining?

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Sure.

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In the book, we try to create a continuum between spider and starfish and.

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There are different expressions of the church.

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If you have the spider and that's more hierarchical lead, pastor one location, and then you move a little bit closer.

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Now you've got a spider fish, right?

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And then you got a starter and then you had a starfish that the argument we're making is if you look at the new Testament expression of the church or the kind of expressions of the church that we see around the world today in the majority world, Where do they fall on the continuum?

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It starfish like any honest student of the scripture is going to have to just throw up the flag of surrender.

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And so the question is that's why it's, re-imagined like, this is actually the original design of the church.

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And we are for every expression of the church, God spirit, enlivens, and empowers every form of the church.

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But now is this cultural moment where we have the greatest opportunity in a lifetime to actually reset and move strategically towards the right end of the continuum.

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So our invitation is, Hey, if you are a spider, at least get over to spider fish.

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If you're a spider fish, let's move it towards starter and let's eat, let's start moving towards the right end of the continuum.

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And so I think it's an invitation.

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For all those churches, wherever you're at on the continuum, let's keep moving towards their original design most, especially in the book of Ephesians, which was really the foundation for this book.

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Wow.

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Great.

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How along with that what I would add course I've built the last two houses that I've lived in I've rehabbed houses, and so I know you guys dabble with stuff and seizure.

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I'm not sure how much you're into all that and everything.

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Of course, as teenagers, I see that something was pinging in my head.

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I was thinking that you did.

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Okay.

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I love watching line.

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These are restorative shows and stuff, and there's this one guy.

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Do you watch any of those shows still that we do and it's hard cause I ran away.

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I right away I go, let's just flip it for a hobby.

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It's so much work.

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I know it is so much work, but there's this guy that I love his name's Brett Waterman.

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He has a show called restored and now he's in California like in, in the Redlands and everything.

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And so usually he does these.

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Craftsman homes and these homes are sometimes a hundred years old or whatever.

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So he's going to go in and he wants to restore these homes back to their original quality.

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But of course the people they don't want an a man or radar range from 1952.

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Exactly.

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They want some of the newer amenities but.

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But they're restoring it back to its beauty and its prestige and its power of its original form.

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And there's been a few cases where there'll be digging in there, maybe pull out a wall take a wall out and they'll find the original blueprints for the house.

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Now they take those blueprints and they amalgamate that with.

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All the new technology or the new things that will upgrade, but they restore it back to what it was.

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And it becomes probably as great a house as it ever was.

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And so w what we're saying here in this book, we're not saying, Hey, we've got all the answers or, Hey, this was the new Testament model of the church, but we are saying we are going by the blueprints of the new Testament church.

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We believe that we could make a strong case for that.

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What are some of the types of things that churches and church leaders, and along with.

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I ha I don't want to just categorize their, even the lady of the church, the people who need to be open to cause with that whole consumeristic poll and drag backwards for so many of us.

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Cause that's what we were birthed into type of church.

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We also have to re-imagine church and be willing to be led and open to things and even take ownership where in the past, maybe we've just been renters.

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What are some of the types of things?

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So people listen to us going.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Let's reimagine some stuff like.

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Like what what are some of the categories or aspects of church that there again maybe there's not one perfect answer, but like we got to rethink some of this stuff and there, again, along with the metaphor of it's more decentralized, it's not in one sort of hub of ownership or activity or leadership only.

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Yeah.

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I'll throw out one Lance, grab another one.

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One of the things that.

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Is a fundamental shift is the shift from managing and directing to equipping and releasing most churches, their mobilization pathway is a call to SAC.

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It ends up in programs that typically sustain the institutional churches ministries, and I eat mostly Sunday.

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Yes, or maybe it will not, maybe there's a wire for maybe a voucher.

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We have a partnership with the homeless center.

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So we'd go down once a month to serve meals.

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Sure.

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The challenge with that is okay.

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Feagins one.

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This vision is to fill everything every way with the fullness of Jesus, saturating our city with the beauty justice, goodness of Jesus.

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He's doing it through Ephesians two, you have a masterpiece mission.

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You everyone's called to make disciples, but within that, there's a unique assignment.

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If my mobilization pathway dead ends into volunteer roles that lead to a church program, I am inadvertently probably distracting or delaying God's people from their actual assignment from heaven.

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And that's the problem.

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And I'm trying to manage ministry.

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I'm trying to direct it.

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I'm inadvertently strangling the work of the Holy spirit.

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And so we want to ask churches to begin to see themselves as literally as an equipping hub.

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You're a mission agency and we provide some very helpful practices, some simple procedures, examples of what this looks like in multiple locations, how you can create equipping teams within almost any form of church.

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And it operates as a mission agency to equip ordinary people.

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To be disciple makers and missionaries where they live, work, learn, and play.

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So if you're ordinary quote, unquote person listening it's time to this identity of volunteer.

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You need to cast that off.

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I'd hate to have a biblical identity disciple maker.

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You're a missionary.

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You have a calling.

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Yeah.

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And you need to begin to articulate that in a respectful way in your faith community.

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Like.

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How do, how can we discover our calling here?

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What's the process not to volunteer, but to discover our calling I went to my pastor and I went to the other pastor.

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And for years I've been trying to say, Hey, I have a burden to do this in our community.

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And they just poo-pooed that they just shoot that down or they say good luck with that but that's not what we're about our, not our vision.

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That's not our vision.

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And so what does that person do then?

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Because there's this.

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There's a rightful respect for the leadership and not wanting to leapfrog their leaders, but when the leaders are still wanting to dictate what we want to equip to only, and what gets done.

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Because listen, I'm the guy in a sense.

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I was on staff at that time, but before, right before we came out to Tacoma and we're a part of the leadership that's started Soma.

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I was like, Hey, I'm on the lead team.

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Like we've been there forever.

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This is our family.

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And I'm like to the to the leadership team and the founding pastor Hey, you're sending us god's calling us, you trust us.

Speaker:

Obviously we're here sitting here like on the very short list of who gets to have a voice here and nah, dog's not in that hunt.

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And that was it.

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That was like pretty much the whole conversation.

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And we'll like, when, so when are you going to clean out your office?

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I'm like, Whoa, this is my family.

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And so I'm thinking, that's what I felt.

Speaker:

And I was one of five people on the short list of who got to sit in the meeting and lead these things what about your average person has got a real burden for X, Y, or Z.

Speaker:

And then what about the leader says, I don't know how to equip to that.

Speaker:

So how do we release that or fan that flame or Tufts sudden, right?

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It is.

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And Lance feel free to jump in any moment.

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That literally is the reason we've written his book.

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The second section of the book is about creating a culture for multiplying leaders.

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So if you be now, we start with the first section because if you have to re-imagine the church.

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And if someone hasn't really been converted into the idea of the church, being a movement of God's people.

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Being released as missionaries, then this book isn't for you.

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But if you are converted in that second section, we provide a series of three starfish that each provide a set of postures procedures and practices to create a culture.

Speaker:

For decentralized leadership to make that shift to an equipping culture and handed off to Lance because he did a lot of the heavy lifting in that section.

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Yeah.

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W we feel like that we have to reconsider our styles of leadership and the processes and then.

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All the ethos of that.

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We've heard it a million times, everything rises or falls on leadership, which I think we would all say everything rises or falls on discipleship or disciple-making one of the things that people usually don't question.

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Is what kind of leadership and that's the thing we need to be questioning because even with all of our belief, we all believe in five fold.

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We believe in a missional ethos.

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We believe in decentralization, yada yada, if we don't change the way that we lead and the way we treat people, the way that we lead, we're just going to keep getting the same thing over and over so we're surprised every few months when some famous leader falls, for whatever reason, And we really shouldn't be surprised because it's the old adage is your system is perfectly designed to give you the results that you're getting.

Speaker:

So we have to be questioning the style of leadership.

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And for far too long, the leadership in the church has come from the industrial.

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Revolution.

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And so it's very hierarchy.

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It's bossing more than coaching.

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It's very paternalistic.

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It's pretty much all the stuff that Jesus warned against.

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Pretty much every bid like you're not, Oh, I just made this way among us.

Speaker:

Last episode in the podcast I talked about are your elders really biblical elders or are they more like deacons or what's what the overloading, he don't like that too at all.

Speaker:

So this whole top down thing, it was forbidden in that.

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So it was here's another aspect of it.

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Like I just I can't, I have to get this out when I'm listening to what you guys are saying.

Speaker:

And that's what type of leader are we going to be?

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There's I think we have some very, because of the system risk adverse leaders, meaning I won't try anything that I don't have.

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I haven't researched to the nines and I don't think I can control the win.

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And so to release people, to try things that might not quote unquote, look like a win and w we are not the first people to say, Hey fail.

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You could fail three times and get to the win quicker than thinking about it forever and never try it.

Speaker:

And so to start to release people to grow, we in our tribe, we say suck forward, like just suck forward.

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It's okay.

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But when our identity is tied to.

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A certain benchmark of success and it's like really ancient and it's not even biblical.

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So then now we're told to let people go and be, and then fan that flame.

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But what if that doesn't work?

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Or what if someone got hurt?

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What no ones been hurt by pastors?

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No, one's been hurt by our current system.

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Everything we've ever done is just worked and moved the needle on that wrap up into the right.

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Hey, we're in free fall, man.

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Like I think it's time to let some other people fail forward and that's not to not lead.

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Or to do stupid junk or go against what we are convicted, scripture teaches and all that, but boy, that risk adverseness, we're going to have to swallow hard and ask the spirit of God to allow us to see that everybody has that same spirit, not just those who got lucky enough to get hired.

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Absolutely.

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You're making me think about moment.

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Last week we hosted the multipliers learning community for expo.

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And one of the sessions we were talking about this shift from.

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Instead of being paternal, you're a partner.

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Instead of directing you're equipping instead of bossing your coaching instead of micro management, it's macro management, like what's the fractal that we really need to guard.

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That's all you need to worry about.

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And we were telling the story of some of our missionaries and then make a new disciples of micro churches emerging.

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I'm in the middle of this and the guy just like I have to interrupt you.

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He throws his hand up.

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It's all right, great.

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And he said, I entered a pit funny, and then he starts tearing up.

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And he starts telling the story about one group of guys who ride Harleys.

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And then there was another group of guys that right off the bat.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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And another group of guys that were with classic cars and how they were having spiritual conversations and leading their buddies to Christ in these two different groups came to him and he said, you know what I did, I took control of it.

Speaker:

He's that was a micro church, wasn't it?

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And I said, yeah, it sounded like two of them were emerging and he literally started weeping.

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He said, I killed it.

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I killed it.

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I killed what the spirit was doing and he just repented in front of this whole room.

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And I think one thing that has been very hopeful right now is I think there are more and more leaders where the veil is being removed.

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And there's a genuine spirit of repentance.

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And I want to say upfront, like if you're our book is for those, that repentance is quick, common and continuous.

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Like we're say that one more time.

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Okay.

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Yeah.

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Our books for leaders who repentance for you as quick, common and continuous, if you're looking for a tweak on the current system to make it a little bit better, it's really, we love you or for you.

Speaker:

There's probably not a book for you, but if there's an ache deep in your soul, Because the spirit of God is broken.

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You have some things in this COVID season.

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Like this handbook is for, we literally wrote it for you.

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We want to wash your feet.

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I get this.

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One of the adventure you have ahead, if you'll embrace that.

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Yes.

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And what all the stories you'll have to tell all these people that you never would have imagined.

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Hey Caesar in fact, there's this, we have one, one of the starfish is called.

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We call it the light load leader and it it comes from Jesus says, Hey, come to me.

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If you're weary, you're overlaid.

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And he says, because my.

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What does he say?

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My yoke is easy.

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My burden is light, but most leaders can't even identify with that scripture because they're just way down and wore out with leadership.

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Why can't that not be a leadership text?

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If we yoke up with Jesus, because he's the big ox, man.

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He's the one that will carry the weight.

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If we let him do it, if we let the government be up on his shoulders.

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And so that's one of the things that we really go to pains in the book is to show some systems and some structures and practices.

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To say it doesn't, it can be a joy, just like you just said, Caesar what a great journey of adventure ahead.

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With the family of God, it doesn't have to be corporate life.

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And I think that the decentralized thing too, I think some people could be hearing this and go so now we're going to have a million lone Rangers out there, just bouncing off the walls, trying anything under the guise of ministry.

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And we're supposed to be okay with it as leaders.

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And.

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I want to snap back.

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We're not chucking the book we're not checking scripture all of that, all of this happens in life of a community and mission because no one of us is Jesus.

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We're the body together.

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And I don't know of too many successful ministry that components of a church that happened isolated.

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One person is just doing that and making mature disciples that way.

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And that begs the thing to say to please, as you release.

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And you fan the flame and you send, and you try to multiply in and let people suck forward.

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Remember, it's still under the guise of, are we making disciples?

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They make disciples like that's gotta be the banner.

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Is that helping that, is that a part of that?

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And then together, do these things add up to a richer componentry where we're learning from each other and all these different ministries are getting smarter together because we're watching that one little leg that broke off and now it's growing real fast, but it's different than what we're doing, but while we're learning some stuff from it, I just, I think people just think, Oh, it's gonna be this lone ranger thing.

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And then, yeah.

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And it's to say the least, it's not an fact.

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We, our argument would be that there's actually more accountability in this system.

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We can prove there's higher accountability, higher degree of management, even.

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Because, but it's not someone managing someone else itself management.

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And then there's micro agreements between teams and between meet team members that hold one, another accountable.

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And so there's deep leadership in this.

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So we're not Def definitely.

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We're not tossing leadership, but we're not tossing accountability.

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We're actually raising the bar on it.

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I think it's Mike Breen that says that movements like this, that they have low control.

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But higher accountability.

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Yeah.

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So you need to be going to the spirit and go for, and test and try some new stuff and all that.

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But I am going to check in with you and go, okay, what did you learn from that?

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And let's close the loop.

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And is it just, are you guys, is that turning into a Holy huddle or are you guys just the nicest people in that little group of people now, or are you discipled them to maturity and Christ and depth of the gospel?

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And like, how can we help equip that aspect of it?

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Cause you guys have done an amazing job of building out a community, right?

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Can we help you grow in your gospel fluency or your leadership development skills or fill in the blank right on.

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Yeah.

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One of the, one of the starfish is called the structure starfish.

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And we talk about how is it that you structure for a low control and high accountability.

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And we talk about how it, first of all, instead of a pyramid it's circle cell, so you have these circles that are reproducing, but they're overlapping.

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So for example, in the Kansas city underground we now have seven networks of micro churches in our city.

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There's four to eight micro churches in each one of those.

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And then there's governing elders and there's also a hub that has eight equipping teams.

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It's basically these small circles that keep reproducing.

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So a micro church leader will have governing elders that are local.

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Usually it's, hyper-local like they live within three or four, five miles of you.

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And then you have seven equipping teams.

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They have app systolic equippers who are also meeting with you.

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Like we have better line of sight, higher lever of accountability than any mega church with their small groups.

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How do you ever control all this as is one of the leaders?

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How do you keep your thumb on all this?

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And here's the thing like you got to get out of the traditional org chart.

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It's it's a family tree.

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I actually have more influence because I'm a great grandfather.

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There's some of these people, keyword there to influence I remember when I don't know who said it, but like I was somewhere along my continuum of learning how to lead within a community where I wasn't paying people.

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Cause we have people that are like, I'm so good in business.

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We put them right into ministry.

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But without that looming paycheck, like they don't know how to lead or people come out of the military and they're like, Oh, are you kidding?

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She was like captain.

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And I'm like, but she's never led without a Stripe on her arm and the ability, yes.

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And th this is this idea of having a, like authority versus do you have influence and what have you a great influence in people's lives, but but you realize the Holy Spirit's the one in control and the primary disciple or, but that requires faith and release.

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It's such a new level, right?

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I want to please be open to this right now.

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You've talked about various different types of spiders in, in the book, one of them you called was the movement spider.

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Okay.

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Our starfish, the movement starfish.

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How do you define, how do you actually define and measure movement?

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And so if a church starts they're reading your book and they're moving towards this, or people are saying we've been open to this, but we just need a little bit of framework.

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How do you even define and know if you are.

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Heading towards movement big word.

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Did you ask their questions?

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Rob's buttons now at church, I've had young people come to me and say Hey, we're moving to Kansas city, or we're moving to St.

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Louis because we're going to start a movement.

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And I'm like, really?

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What do you mean?

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We're going to start a movement and like, How about you start with making a disciple or have someone over for dinner.

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You've never done that yet.

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And so how do you define a movement and then how do you measure something like that?

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Yeah.

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Movement has become such a buzzword in the church leadership world and these days it's everything's a movement, we have a coffee movement.

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We have a water movement.

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We have a leadership movement, we've got a book, we've got a social media movement and it, and if everything's a movement, then nothing's a movement.

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Words actually matter definitions matter.

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So in our book, we're, first of all, we're building off of the M DNA.

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Alan is a co-author.

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So theologically and phenomenologically.

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It six MDA DNA are the foundation, but then we're also, we're, we've chosen to build off of the work of people like David Garrison and David Watson.

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And they've been working on it.

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Yeah.

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There are they're our heroes and basically their seminal work of the last four decades has been to.

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Observe the greatest disciple-making movements in history are happening in our time.

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There's about 4,000 disciple-making movements that are engaged, but about 1400 that are by definition, disciple making movements.

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So basically here's the way they define it.

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It's rapid and viral.

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Momentum grows and appears out of control.

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It's multiplicative, not just by addition.

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So you're looking for second Timothy, two, two it's, four generations on more than one strand explosive when you get to four, yeah.

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Yeah.

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And then it's indigenous.

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So it's not about outsiders coming in.

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Although outsiders might be catalytic.

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But it's about local indigenous people that are making new disciples and then fourthly it's diminishing lossiness within a given people group.

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And then the double click on that is basically, they're saying in two to five years you're going to see this disciple-making movement.

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That's going now multiple strands way.

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Multiple generations produce at least a hundred expressions of the church.

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But the church they're talking about, isn't the prevailing model in the West with a building, a professional pastor.

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It's what we would call a micro church at, in these movements around the world.

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Once you do this statistical analysis, like there's something like, I forget how many hundreds of millions of people that are in these disciple-making movements.

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But if you divide it, it's about 16 people per church when it adds up.

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So like that, that micro expression of the church that was primary in the new Testament.

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Yeah, the oil cos yeah.

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That the gospel is hitting and basically turning into a micro church is actually still the predominant model around the world today.

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So with that foundation says, yes, what we're offering is potential way of measuring a movement.

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And this is just something we're offering to the church to move the conversation forward, building on em, DNA, building on disciple making movements, because we think those are solid.

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We talk about five points of multiplication.

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And what if you had four Jens, multiple strands at five points, the first point is what you said, Caesar disciples.

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It has to start ground up as a disciple making movement.

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If people become disciple makers, that leads to the second point, then you're a leader.

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Become a leader on with almost without knowing it, if you're actually a disciple maker.

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And then yeah, because we say leadership development is just discipleship, further up the slope, right?

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You're discipling people to maturity, then they're going to have some aspect of leadership.

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Not everybody this statement, everybody's a leader.

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Now everybody can lead, I believe in some ways.

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Amen.

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So it's disciples leaders, the third expression, the outcome of multiplying disciples and leaders is micro churches.

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So multiplying Microsoft things grow.

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Yep.

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Then the fourth point then is networks.

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So those micro churches and leaders and disciples are being coming together in networks that either geographic, they might be affinity groups.

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And then the fifth point that we add is we simply call it a hub.

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So a hub is an app, a stock equipping team, like the apostles in the temple in Jerusalem, like Paul with his gang of eight and emphasis that are actually equipping a movement of disciples leaders and micro churches in a region.

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If you had four gens on more than one strand and all five of those points, I think you have a movement.

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I think that's a legitimate movement.

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If you're not there, then what we say is it starts with the mindset.

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Then it goes to momentum.

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And I would say for example, in the Kansas city underground, We have momentum we're two years in, we've had a thousand percent increase in micro churches.

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We've launched three hubs.

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It's amazing, but we won't even call ourselves a movement yet.

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Cause we're not right.

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We're not four jams all the years of settlements almost still going.

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And I don't provide day-to-day leadership to that anymore, but everybody's Oh, the movement I'm like, I don't know, time will tell.

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And I think God will name it ultimately, but I love what you're breaking down there because I think it's fairly tangible.

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And we've all seen little bits and components of all of it.

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It's not okay, like what are you talking about?

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Like the God particle something like spontaneous combustion and no one has ever seen that.

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No I think we've all seen or intrinsically understand those five elements.

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But maybe haven't experienced them for ourselves and, or spent the time releasing and equipping and sending to actually get to that point now.

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So one time I got to tell a little story to back up a question here.

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Okay.

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One time I was teaching at a seminary and the head of theology.

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It was his actual class.

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He was the guy, but he had me in to teach this one spiritual formation class and he goes before Caesar, I bring him up here.

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I just wanna let you know.

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I know I'm real well, everything is going to say is biblical.

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You're going to love it.

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And you're going to start wondering why isn't my pastor teaching any of this.

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And he says, let me just tell you, it's not because he has a problem with what Caesar's teaching or it's not biblical it's because he's got a problem with the financial aspect of what you're about to say.

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He says, go ahead.

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Get up there.

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And I was like, I can't believe you just said that out loud.

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And I there's going to be some people listening right now going, Oh man, I'm getting a little warm, fuzzy and everything is, I feel great.

Speaker:

I'm certainly, I already ordered the book.

Speaker:

I'm halfway through this episode, and but how do you collect the tie that everything's all spit out there and decentralized and don't, they all have their own, maybe financial needs that they might need to look after or fund or.

Speaker:

Collect or so I have to ask that the elephant in the room, and it might be a way to even begin to start to wrap up this conversation, but I, how does something like this practically find itself funded, especially if it starts from within what might've been a traditional church org initially.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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That's our story.

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Actually, we in the book we talk about disciple-making movements and then we have this other mobilization pathway.

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We call them movements of disciple-making.

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And movements of disciple-making happens inside of the organized church where believers get activated as disciple makers.

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And that's actually how Kansas city underground was born.

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So we launched out of a prevailing model church with 72 missionaries, we refuse to organize those people into groups and call them micro churches.

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It's who's your partner?

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Who's your team?

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Where are you going to make disciples among unreached pockets of people?

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And they began to do it.

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We were equipping them.

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Micro churches began to emerge.

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Here's what we have.

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We have a missionary commitment.

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We have a micro church leader commitment.

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When you get to that level of saying, I am going to be a missionary, I'm going to be a disciple maker.

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I'm planting myself among the unreached pocket of people.

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I'm going to plant the gospel and make disciples.

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One of the 11 commitments is to radical generosity.

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And when some becomes a missionary, it's a very relational moment.

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Like we've had four or five missionaries come up from our micro church.

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So when they sign it, it's a big deal.

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It's like I'm owning this mission, the Jesus mission.

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And we share our story with them.

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And I hope that generosity is reciprocal.

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You know what I mean?

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It is that the church as a whole, as a family, as a body is looking after those needs and going, Hey, seasonally here, as things are starting up and there's different goals needs and all that we need to be open-handed with God's resource.

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And that unfortunately, or fortunately, however, depending on look at it, it might mean we're going to defund as it were some of what we used to do to be able to move the family resource towards areas of growth multiplication sending right half of our budget is grants for micro church's, half of our budget.

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So what happens is most of our giving comes in online from the missionaries and the micro church leaders and any micro church members that want to give we'd.

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Some of our networks do collect offerings.

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But we train them with the same procedures.

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You train a traditional church plant like, Hey, you gotta have three people counted.

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You got a lack of the bag you gotta.

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And then when they turn their money in they have their own line item.

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So basically a micro church or a micro church network can collect offerings and we'll provide financial oversight, but their governing elders get to decide how they spend the money.

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And then people give above and beyond to support the Kansas city underground as a mission agency.

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And our whole thing is bi-vocational like all the micro church leaders are Bibo Covo yeah.

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That's part of why they're not so broke.

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You know what I mean?

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Cause they're not just sitting around waiting for offerings to stack up deep enough.

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And so I'll go steal some sheep with deeper pockets.

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Yeah.

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Those of us that run the hub that lead those equipping teams, it's like Paul either have I've got three jobs and then I raised some support.

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So it's a combination of work and patrons and that's how we do it.

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We're still . Yeah.

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And another thing that falls within that, and you guys know this as being Bibo slash Covo guys, there is a there's a freedom in that, in your leadership in it, when you're not tied to that.

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The church is paying me to do this.

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So I better not, I guess if they say go left and the spirit says that's right.

Speaker:

Now and listen, that comes into play.

Speaker:

Any of us that have led and we've led that way.

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And that's been the way that we've received our review remit numeration is that it affects you.

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It really does affect you, or at least it's in the brain somewhere.

Speaker:

And so there's a freedom.

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Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker:

There's so much more we could get into this.

Speaker:

I we're not big on Hawk and books, but when I have brothers and sisters that I know and love and trust, and then I'm finding myself stoked, either waiting for the book or when I finally get to read it we had Doug Paul on a few months back and his.

Speaker:

Book on innovation, so powerful.

Speaker:

So I want to just wholeheartedly tell folks you're not going to be disappointed in getting this book, but I can already tell you from just a little bit, so it just came out.

Speaker:

So I'm not even fully through it yet, but knowing these guys' hearts and what they've lived.

Speaker:

And breathe into this thing from experience, you will be challenged buckle up, trust the spirit, be willing to suck forward.

Speaker:

But get it get the book and read it with at least one other person that you can chew on it.

Speaker:

Cause it's hard to throw this stuff up against the wall, on a dark room and then never see it again.

Speaker:

We don't want to just create Boger walls like our kid next to our kids, bunk beds with these ideas, get somebody else in your life that you trust in matters and other leaders maybe, or beg someone in your church leadership team to read it with you and say, Hey, let's just see what the spirit says while we go through this.

Speaker:

I think you're going to be very pleased with that, but it'll be a challenge and you will, I think it'll necessitate releasing of some things which we'll start to see some new movements starting.

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I hope, man.

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I pray.

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So as we often do.

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Like to leave people with big three takeaways and oftentimes we, we formulate it, head heart, hands in the sense of if nothing else from today, from the talk and what we're trying to communicate, don't miss these three things.

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And as always people can get this as a download, like w we type this up and we'll send it to you.

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Just go to everyday disciple.com forward slash big three.

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And we'll download that.

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But you guys what do you think would be the big three takeaways?

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You wouldn't want people to miss from our talk today?

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All right.

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Number one, then last, go for it.

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I will say this.

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Jesus is the head of the church and he is in his body and that is that decentralization of Jesus being in the body.

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And when we go to Ephesians four and we look at the apostle prophet, Evangelist shepherd and teacher, these are the gifts he gave to the body.

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That's a body text.

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It's not a leadership text.

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And so he is in his body.

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And and when Jesus was walking the streets of the earth, That his physical flesh was the body of Christ.

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We are the body of Christ now, and he is in us.

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And so it's incumbent upon us as leaders to not be the cork in the bottle and to let those gifts flourish and to rearrange our own job descriptions from being a director and being a manager and being a boss to say, no, I'm here to be a facilitator.

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I'm here to be a coach.

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I'm here to be an equipper.

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Man, that's going to take a lot of weight off of you.

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It's going to give a lot more joy and it's going to cause your church to get very activated.

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Awesome.

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Wow.

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That's a great, that's a great summary of the first thing.

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Don't miss that folks.

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Okay.

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Number two, I want to build off of what he said.

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If Jesus is the head.

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If we know who he is, I think the heart move is returning to our true identity.

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So it gets to, first of all, what Lance said, if you're a leader in the church, Remembering Ephesians four, your role is to be an equipper and to do an honest heart evaluation.

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How much equipping do I do?

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How much of my time?

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And remember that equipping is different than teaching equipping is a relational transaction.

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That's very personal.

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That requires try this debrief, right?

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Repeat.

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Reproduce more apprenticing.

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Yes.

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Way more take by the hand and let's go.

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Yeah.

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So do a heart check.

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If you're a leader, like how much equipment are you actually doing?

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If you're a normal person ordinary person, I know that you may be in a church is trying to tell you're an attender.

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You're a volunteer.

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Become a member become a giver.

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I want to remind you who you really are.

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Yeah.

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Like you are a disciple of the Lord.

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Jesus Christ.

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You are a temple of the Holy spirit.

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You are a beloved child of the King of Kings and you are destined.

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To start a movement of disciple-making you have full authority and privilege here, full authority.

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We have all that.

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It's not something they hand out at seminaries.

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Right?

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Exactly.

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And what's the third, one of the big three what's the rubber meets the road sort of thing.

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Yeah.

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After you do that identity, like return to your true identity.

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Here's a simple starfish secret to start with whatever it is that the Lord has taught you to do.

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It might be a simple way of engaging the Bible or a simple way of praying or a simple way of doing hospitality this week.

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Share that with someone and then ask them to also share it with someone and begin to simple starfish strategy.

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Of looking at how God has gifted you in an intentionally, teach someone else to do it this week, but not just also ask them to share it with someone else, make that a part of the process.

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If you add that simple tweak into your way of life, you can start a disciple making movement.

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Yeah.

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Awesome.

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That's part of your that's part of your starfish challenge, right?

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It is.

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You're doing that, take something small that you feel gifted or passionate about and pass it on and ask that person to do the same.

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Yeah.

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Which really gets multiplication because then if they pass on what you're showing them or teaching them or helping them experience, but then they also say, but I have this passion to great.

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Then you get to do both now.

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See, so this gets so big, so fast.

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Oh man.

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It's or.

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Or we can just go ahead and program some things and ask people for that check.

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Hey guys, it's always, I could just keep going and going.

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Cause I love you and it's I miss you.

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And and I'm so grateful that you keep applying your yourselves to the hard work of digging this out for us and writing books and all night, I've done a few myself, as it's tough sledding.

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It's hard work.

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But, Oh boy, this one's going to be one I think is going to really we're going to return to it a lot and need to, and that's the thing is like I think someone has coined the phrase of a permanent revolution.

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Alan, who's also an author of this, like this isn't something you go remember back after the code, we had to change a few things like, Oh guys, please see this as the way we get to live in light of what we see throughout all of scripture and any man, and the fact that we have the spirit, the power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us.

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My man, Whoa, pretty strong, stronger than our COVID problem is stronger than our lack of budget or our bad live streams or whatever.

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It's all right.

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I'm going to let you guys go and thanks so much again for being on, and I'm going to put some links in the show notes, but everybody can go on Amazon and get this book like now.

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It just came out.

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So go and get it.

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And again, I just wanna remind people, at least do this with one other person, read through the book and discuss it.

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You're going to get not like twice as much out of it.

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You're going to get manifold.

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Multiplication out of it just by discussing it with someone meaningful in your own life and going, Hey, what do we do?

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What do we do with this?

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Anyway, thanks again, guys, for being on.

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Thanks.

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Really appreciate it.

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And we'll talk to you soon.

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Wow.

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I told you that was a great interview, right?

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Those are some smart guys and that was fun and meaningful.

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Just the big three alone was worth listening to today, right?

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Oh, these guys are the real deal and they've given us all myself included a lot to think about and some changes I think, to start moving towards, you're going to really love that book.

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I hope you'll check it out again.

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I'll have the starfish and the spirit.

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Link in the show notes.

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All right.

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That's about it for today.

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Joining next week is we're going to talk about 10 things that are probably keeping you from living on mission, or maybe they could be, or maybe just a few or maybe all 10.

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I don't know.

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But anyway that I think might help you identify a few things, especially as we come out of lockdown and pandemic stuff and weirdness this'll be a good review of things that might be keeping you from living on mission.

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And a discipleship as a lifestyle kind of thing.

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Okay.

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We'll see you soon.

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Thanks for joining us today for more information on this show and to get loads of free discipleship resources, visit everyday disciple.com.